Self confidence in skiing is the hardest part of skiing. It’s much more difficult than all those issues of technique. I’ll make this the first part of a multi-part post – which is my way of saying I’m not sure what it will stretch to!
First of all it’s to do with controlling positive feedback loops. Here’s one describing cattle stampedes. Once a critical number of cattle start running – no specific threat is required – it sets up a panic in some others. That sets them running and the increased number raises the panic level, and it just keeps self-reinforcing. It also applies to human ones – why everyone runs for the same exit door – no one stops to observe and think.
Each of these reinforces the other, over and over again
Above all, the good news is that regarding your own skiing you can work on this topic l-o-n-g before you head for the slopes. In fact it works best when you are safe at home.
In my book I differentiate between ‘external’ and ‘internally generated’ stressors. Continue reading →
Goal setting is not simply setting “targets”. Done skilfully it will help you get where you want to go. Very few people outside of professional sports folk understand “goal-setting”.
Standing at the Crossroads every highway looks the same.
We are programmed from childhood to think of goals as “targets”. Quantified amounts of something that we have to achieve, but which are usually set by someone else. Later in life it’s the school exams, or the University, and then the Boss at work. “Here’s your target, make sure you hit it”.
Most of my skiing pupils come to me initially with this general idea, although of course it’s tacit rather then precisely expressed. Almost none know about goal setting and what it can bring them when done well. But all is not lost, read on below the fold …. Continue reading →
To improve your ski learning keep taking the tablets: they don’t work if you don’t take them.
To improve your ski learning– or indeed to improve skill with any technique or group of techniques, somewhat resembles looking after your health.
Your doctor diagnoses some ailment or other. Next she prescribes a treatment that you need to keep applying. She gives you the medication, and off you go.
You are keen to make things better, so you apply the medication regime, and sure enough things begin to improve. They continue to improve right up to the point where you are no longer aware of the symptoms that drove you to her in the first place. So it is with your skiing skill. Continue reading →
Ski boots can be the key to success, or the bane of your life. Every pupil I have ever had, was initially “over-booted”. In every case, the first change that made a really lasting difference to their skiing was changing either how their ski boots were fastened, or even changing their ski boots.
Like every other aspect of skiing, ski boots are part of the industry. Selling ski boots is a money earner. Nothing wrong with that, except that there will always be a strong temptation for the sellers to want to “up-sell” their customers to a more expensive ski boot.
But be wary, be very wary, because ski boots are surrounded in myths, and they are likely to entrap you. For the vast majority of skiers the belief is that ski boots needs-must be very tight and quite possibly painful. This is wrong. Continue reading →
Ordinary people do amazing things when they don’t know they can’t. I looked up “open-mindedness” in the Thesaurus and it came up with Acceptance, Interest, Observance, Receptiveness and Understanding. All of which, it seems to me, are pretty handy when you want to develop more skilful skiing. More of which, below the fold here – Continue reading →
Every experiment is a good experiment. Except one. That is the one the outcome of which you do not ascertain. That experiment is useless.
An experiment cannot go “wrong”. You do an experiment and something will happen or become manifest. It doesn’t matter what happens. It could be in this direction, or that direction. It could be positive or negative. Black or white. Hotter or colder. Faster or slower. Every result is a worthwhile result.
Every experiment is a GOOD experiment. Except one!
It’s exactly the same with us and our skiing. Learning controlled skiing requires experimentation. What it illustrates is “The Kneed to Knowtice”. New words, invented by me – I figure if Dr. Johnson could do it, so can I ! Good, effective experimenting is a skill, and can lead to skilful skiing. Continue reading →
Took me years to realise that you will never develop skilful controlled skiing – or anything else physical – by watching an expert do it, or looking at pictures. In fact the very worst thing you can do is watch an expert. It’s depressing, because you can’t see what they are really doing. That’s why on our skiing courses we spend a lot of time on the understandings.
Skilful skiing – not learnt by watching others.
If you could learn by watching I could play concert piano like Ashkenazy, and golf like Tiger Woods. Whereas in fact, I can play concert piano like Tiger Woods, and golf like Validimir Ashkenazy !
Anybody can become a skilful controlled skier. Anybody. It is nonsense to suppose that only “born athletes” (there is no such thing ) can do it. The potential to become a first rate skier does not suddenly atrophy when you get to forty. Neither is it closed off to you if you are born female. Anybody can do it and it is never too late. What you need is a better style of teaching and learning than most people get access to. Usually something with a bit less “gung-ho”. Continue reading →